Welcome to the arms race
Lock the gatecrashers!
Gatecrashers are damaging our community and we’re powerless to stop them.
I’ve been sounding the alarm for years, but things are getting worse and there’s no end in sight.
Unless we act.
Coming to a house near you
As well as having zero respect for people, property, authority (or even ambulance staff) young thugs are arming themselves with fence posts, knives, rocks, broken bottles and even petrol.
Anything to gain entry to a party and cause damage, injury and mayhem.
Since 2010 I’ve campaigned for safe event laws. People have listened, but nothing has been done.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Public venues are refusing parties under the age of 21. This simply pushes them into residential areas, impacting the community and making events even more accessible to unwanted guests.
Closing venues isn’t the answer. Nor is shutting down celebrations early and punishing innocent families who have a safe party plan.
The simple fact is, homes aren’t built for today’s big events.
Right now, all we can do to combat gatecrashers is to have a huge crowd-control presence, for which poor parents must pay.
Do we really want to factor security as a standard event cost – along with ice, snags and party pies?!
Police need adequate powers and resources to deal with this growing problem, otherwise tragic results will follow.
My short-term solution is to create the offences detailed in my proposal of five years ago:
Gatecrashing would be an additional offence to trespass. At present, the only applicable legislation is the Summary Offence Act 1966, number 7405, Part 1, provision Applicable to Victoria, Sec 9 Wilful Damage Property (trespass, Sub section DD.E &G).
But the offence of trespass is only relevant to gatecrashing if the gatecrasher enters a property via another private property. There is no offence if a gatecrasher enters a property via public land (a far more common occurrence in my experience).
Another offence (possibly under the Privacy Act) could be the abuse of social media (e.g. Facebook) to facilitate gatecrashing by:
- Advertising other people’s parties before or during an event.
- Concocting and promoting hoax parties at unsuspecting premises.
In addition to these offences, police need to collate out-of-control parties to establish how bad the gatecrasher issue is.
Time to act
Gatecrashing is all over the news. As they say in media, ‘if it bleeds, it leads’.
The question is, are you going to sit on the couch and wait until your home is trashed and your child’s blood is on the screen?
Or are we going to get up, get organised and get laws to keep gatecrashers off our streets?
I know what to do.
I’m ready to act now.
How about you?
Naomi Oakley, Founder, Safe Partying Australia.
Pic by Oalsaker